Human rights organisation JusticeMakers Bangladesh has condemned the recent attack on the Ahmadiyya community in Panchagarh district, northern Bangladesh, which left at least two dead and 100 injured on March 03, 2023.
In a statement signed by founder secretary general of JusticeMakers Bangladesh and also prominent human rights lawyer Shahanur Islam, the group called for justice and accountability for the victims, as well as an end to the persecution of religious minorities in Bangladesh.
The statement noted that the attack on the Ahmadiyya community is part of a wider pattern of violence and discrimination against minority groups in the country, including Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists.
The statement highlights the brutality of the attack, with many houses belonging to the Ahmadiyya community members set ablaze and a traffic police office torched.
The attack also saw the looting of shops and homes of the Ahmadiyya community, as well as the blocking of the Korotoa bridge for nearly six hours, statement added.
The group called on the government to take immediate steps to protect these communities and ensure that they can practice their religion without fear of violence or intimidation.
JusticeMakers Bangladesh also expressed concern about the role of Islamist groups in the attack, and called on the government to take strong action against these groups and their leaders.
The group urged the authorities to investigate the attack thoroughly and hold those responsible to account.
The statement further notes that the attack was sparked by the three-day congregation of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, named ‘Salana Jalsa’, with the Islamists demanding its closure.
The rally of the Islamists led the attack with an angry mob demanding a halt to the gathering of the Ahmadiyyas, a sect of Islam formed by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
JusticeMakers Bangladesh calls on the government of Bangladesh to take immediate action to ensure the safety and security of the Ahmadiyya community.
The organization also calls for those responsible for the attack to be held accountable and for justice to be served for the victims and their families.
The statement concluded by expressing solidarity with the Ahmadiyya community and other religious minorities in Bangladesh, and calling for greater respect for human rights and religious freedom in the country.